NFHS Swimming and Diving Rules Interpretations - 2016-17

By NFHS on August 10, 2016 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 © 2016

CORRECTION TO RULE BOOK: (Underlining shows additions; strikethrough shows deletions.)

Page 68, 8.3.8 SITUATION C, Ruling: Correct Incorrect procedure.

SITUATION 1: The visiting team’s locker room was destroyed by a fire the night before the meet, and there is no other facility at the pool in which the visiting team can change into their competition attire. The host school uses large towels and other equipment to create a private space on the deck, where the visiting swimmers change into their suits. The referee disqualifies the entire team for “deck changing” and declares the meet forfeited to the home team. RULING: Incorrect procedure. When circumstances arise that prevent the use of locker rooms or similar facilities, the use of a temporary facility meets the requirements of Rules 1-5-2 and 3-6-1d.

SITUATION 2: A parent reports to the referee that visiting team swimmers are “deck changing” behind the seating area/bleachers that block the referee’s view of that space, and points out two swimmers who were involved. The referee, without further inquiry, disqualifies the swimmers from further participation in the meet, including all events for which the competitors previously qualified. RULING: Incorrect procedure. The referee must observe the “deck changing” in order to apply the unsporting behavior penalty. (3-6-1d)

SITUATION 3: A diver submits a dive sheet with dive 212 (flying back 1 SS). RULING: Illegal. A diver can only list and perform those dives listed on the diving table. If the sheet is not corrected prior to the start of competition, the dive will be scored as a failed dive. (9-4-7, 9-7-5p)

SITUATION 4: A swimmer is observed wearing a swimsuit during warmups containing a manufacturer’s logo that appears to exceed 2¼ square inches. RULING: The size of the manufacturer’s logo on the swimsuit shall be measured off the swimmer’s body. If that measurement exceeds 2¼ square inches in any dimension, the swimsuit is illegal and the swimmer will be directed to replace the swimsuit before he/she swims again.

SITUATION 5: Upon arrival at the host school, the visiting head coach approaches the meet referee and presents a letter from the state association permitting the swimmer to start in the water because of a physical disability. The referee allows the accommodation to be made. RULING: Correct procedure. (3-3-4 NOTE). However, it is not necessary to have state association approval for an in-water start; the referee may permit this on his/her own authority (8-1-1 NOTE). As a matter of practice, such requests should always be granted by the referee.

SITUATION 6: To signal the last lap, during the 500-yard/400-meter freestyle, the lap counter changes to the number “29” instead of the fluorescent orange card. The official disqualifies the swimmer and charges the lap counter with unsporting conduct. RULING: Incorrect procedure. COMMENT: Neither the use of the lap counter nor the fluorescent orange card to indicate the final length of the race is required; further signaling the number “29” would not rise to the level of unsporting conduct.

SITUATION 7: When performing a forward approach, the diver bounces on the board three times after the culminating hurdle and completes a 101A. The diving referee fails the dive. RULING: Correct procedure. A dive is failed if, in the opinion of the diving referee, the diver performs an additional bounce(s) after the culminating hurdle. (9-7-5q)

SITUATION 8: On a back dive, the diver assumes the starting position, initiates the dive, but loses his balance and uses his arms to regain his equilibrium while continuing to oscillate the board. The diver does not completely stop the dive, however, and completes the performance. The diving referee does not make any comment to the judges following the completion of the dive. RULING: Correct procedure. The progress of the dive did not actually stop after the diver initiated the dive. (9-5-5) The diving judges could plausibly conclude that the performance is deficient under 9-7-3a, which is a judge’s discretionary call and not subject to diving referee direction. Certainly, such a performance would need to be considered as part of 9-7-1.

SITUATION 9: During the pre-meet warm-up, a swimmer is observed wearing a tie-back swimsuit. The meet referee notifies the swimmer’s coach that while the swimmer may wear the suit during warm-ups, she may not compete wearing this suit. RULING: Correct procedure. Swimsuits that use a fastening system for closure, such as the tie-back suit, are not permitted during competition. (Points of Emphasis 2, page 90, 3-3-3b(4))

SITUATION 10: During the pre-meet warm-up, the meet referee observes a swimmer who is wearing a swimsuit that does not adequately cover all required parts of the body. The referee confers with the starter, who confirms the problem and then notifies the swimmer’s coach, asking that the situation be corrected. RULING: Correct procedure. It is recommended to address the issue with the swimmer’s coach rather than directly approaching the swimmer. The official should state what was observed, and indicate that the swimmer may not wear the suit during competition unless it complies with Rule 3-3-1.

SITUATION 11: During the final leg of the 200-yard medley relay, the swimmer pushes off the wall on his back, but rolls onto his stomach before any propulsive motion is made. The referee disqualifies the swimmer because he does not push off the wall toward his breast and his feet leave the wall while he is still on his back. RULING: Incorrect procedure. Provided the swimmer is at or past vertical toward the breast before the first kick, stroke or propulsive motion, the turn is considered legal. (8-2-4c)

SITUATION 12: During the 200-yard freestyle relay, the second, third and fourth swimmers move the wedge to the forward edge of the block so that when the incoming swimmer touches the wall, the swimmer is taking off from the top of the wedge rather than the starting block surface. RULING: Illegal. The top front edge of the starting platform shall be no more than 30 inches above the water level and flush with the pool end wall. The wedge may not be moved to the front of the block as it would then cause the block to exceed the maximum height above the water. (2-7-2b)