Swimming and Diving Rules Interpretations - 2021-22

By NFHS on July 28, 2021 swimming & diving Print

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 © 2021

The following two situations are clarifications to situations added to the Swimming and Diving Rules Book:

9.5.2 SITUATION E: Diver A is performing a dive requiring a forward approach. (a) Prior to assuming the starting position, the diver declares to the referee that the dive will be performed with a standing forward takeoff. Once the dive is performed, the diving referee declares a violation of the forward approach and deducts two points from each judge’s score. (b) The diver performs the dive from a standing forward takeoff with no declaration. The diving referee instructs the judging panel to score not more than two points for an unsatisfactory dive. RULING: (a) and (b) Correct procedure. COMMENT: If the diver does not declare the standing forward takeoff, the dive shall be considered unsatisfactory. If the diver declares a forward standing takeoff, two points are deducted from each judge’s score. The referee has discretion in establishing the manner in which the declaration is made. (9-3-7)

9.6.4 SITUATION C: During the second round of diving competition, the announcer reads Diver A’s third listed dive, which the diver then performs. The error is discovered upon completion of the dive. The referee instructs the scorer to enter the awards for the dive that was performed adjacent to that dive’s listing in round three of the competition (9-6-4). In round three, the announcer is instructed to announce Diver A’s second listed dive with the scores for that dive to be entered adjacent to that dive’s listing in round two. RULING: Correct procedure. In this instance, the diver is not penalized for performing the dives out of order (9- 7-5a). No penalty is imposed for the officials’ error, which can be rectified by a simple clerical adjustment. COMMENT: The diving referee’s discretion is broad but may be limited based on when the error occurs. The objective is to place the minimal burden necessary on the diver.

SITUATION 1: Prior to the start of the heat/long whistle, the starter/referee notices that the swimmer in Lane 3 is wearing a suit with an illegally oversized manufacturer’s logo. The official notifies the coach who indicates that the swimmer is not able to make an immediate adjustment. The official permits the swimmer to participate in the heat and disqualifies the swimmer upon completion of the race. RULING: Incorrect procedure COMMENT: If discovered prior to the start of the heat/race, and if a swimmer is unable to make immediate correction of the problem, the swimmer shall not be permitted to compete in that race, shall be disqualified from that event, and shall be charged with that event as one of the swimmer’s two individual events. (3-3-2)

SITUATION 2: Swimmer A comes to the blocks wearing a full-body suit including tight head covering that captures all but her face. She indicates that this attire is required by her religious convictions. The referee, noting the apparent compression provided by the suit and assuming a competitive advantage, disqualifies Swimmer A and advises her that she may not compete until she alters her attire to make it legal. RULING: Incorrect procedure. When a swimmer cites religious reasons for wearing a suit as described, the official must permit the swimmer to compete. If the official has concerns about the attire, the official must report those to the state association. (3-3-5)

SITUATION 3: During the 500-yard freestyle, the team member designated as lap counter for Lane 5 (a) is shouting splits to the Lane 5 swimmer; (b) is encouraging the Lane 5 swimmer to “pick it up”; (c) tells the Lane 5 swimmer, “you’ve got to catch Lane 4.” The referee disqualifies the Lane 5 swimmer in all three instances. RULING: Incorrect procedure. In (a), the swimmer can easily see his/her splits on the scoreboard and is thus not assisted improperly by the lap counter. In (b) and (c), the counter is providing no physical assistance to the swimmer and is behaving appropriately. COMMENT: “Aid” to the swimmer requires some sort of physical action that creates a competitive advantage. (3-4)

SITUATION 4: Timing results are being displayed to thousandths of a second. The referee instructs the scorekeeper to record times to hundredths only and utilize a rounding procedure so that times displaying 5-thousandths or higher are recorded with hundredths rounded up to the next digit. RULING: Incorrect procedure. All official times are stated to hundredths only; any times displayed to thousandths are adjusted ONLY by dropping the thousandths digit. (6-2-2)

SITUATION 5: A diver performs 302C using an undeclared standing forward takeoff. In the process of performing the dive, a balk is committed. Upon completion of the dive, the referee instructs the scorer that the score for the dive is zero. RULING: Correct procedure. The diver’s undeclared standing forward takeoff reduces the score to a maximum of two points (unsatisfactory dive); the balk further reduces the score by two points, resulting in no score. This is NOT considered to be a failed dive for purposes of implementing Rule 9-8-3. COMMENT: Other examples of zero-sum dives include failing to come out of a somersault after committing a balk, doing a dive clearly in the wrong position on an undeclared standing forward takeoff, balking and then hitting the board, or failing to come out of a twist with a balk or undeclared standing forward takeoff. (9-3-7)