Swimming and Diving Comments on the Rules - 2017-18

By NFHS on May 10, 2017 swimming & diving

1-3-12 - Due to the variations in conference, league and post-season championships within states, it is appropriate for the respective state association to determine which meets shall be considered as culminating meets, and therefore, which meets 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-culminating meets may also be conducted under championship meet format and are subject to all rules for a championship meet.  The designation of “championship” or “non-championship” meet should be clearly identified in the meet information.

3-3-2a - The NFHS is in the process of establishing consistent language for all sports that describes what information is permitted on the uniform.  The language specifies that competitor’s name, school name, school nickname and/or the school logo can be placed on the uniform, which, in swimming and diving, consists of the suit and the cap.   

3-4 - Lap counters may now be 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.  Regardless of whether the count is given in ascending or descending order, the florescent card should be shown to indicate the final length of the race.  This new rule allows lap counting to be either sequentially up or down, or not at all, depending on the preference of the swimmer.  This practice permits flexibility and is in keeping with the current trends of the sport.

3-6, 4-1-8 - Separating, reformatting and reorganizing this rule makes the various potential conduct issues within a meet easier to compare and categorize for appropriate action and/or penalty.  Rule 3 was reorganized to provide consistency and clarity for penalties associated with various competitor and/or meet personnel conduct.  In addition, language prohibiting an official’s use of tobacco at the competition site was added to Rule 4-1-8.

4-6-4 - 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.  All judges shall first observe the foot/feet of the departing swimmer and then the touch of the incoming swimmer.  All observed violations must be recorded in writing (lane number and swimmer number); the appropriate signal must also be given. A disqualification is imposed only when both judges record the same early take off on the same swimmer and lane.  It is not required to assign takeoff judges to each lane; however, if sufficient qualified judges are available, doing so constitutes a best practice.

8-3-5c, 4-6-1
– 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.

– The word “additional” was removed from the description of the forward approach and the hurdle, because of confusion about whether hops, leaps and/or jumps can be included in the three required steps. This clarifies the intent for hops, leaps and/or jumps to count toward the three-step requirement.