Swimming and Diving Points of Emphasis - 2017-18

By NFHS on May 10, 2017 swimming & diving Print

1. Suit Coverage - Per Rule 3-3 students shall wear uniforms, including suit coverage, of decent appearance. If individuals or teams are in violation of this rule, officials are encouraged to contact the head coach of the offending team, rather than the student, requesting that all team members be appropriately equipped with uniforms that meet specified standards.       

2. Accommodations for Disabled Athletes - Guidelines to assist state associations in working with schools for the inclusion of students with disabilities have been prepared by the NFHS Task Force on the Inclusion of Students with Disabilities.  These recommendations begin with a request from the student to the school for an accommodation.  The member school should then contact the state association for an accommodation, at which point the state association reviews and provides written determination regarding accommodation to the school.

Coaches should work with their school and the state association as early as possible in the sport season. Accommodations for students with special needs may be addressed through the rules and policies set forth by a variety of organizations, including Special Olympics, Disabled Sports USA, US Paralympics and USA Swimming.  Contact information is provided in the beginning of the NFHS Swimming and Diving Rules Book, and additional information is included in the NFHS Swimming Officials Guidelines Manual.  An accommodation may be permitted provided it does not fundamentally alter the sport, heighten risk or place opponents at a disadvantage.

3. Warm-Up Protocol - Meet directors and coaches are encouraged to review the “Suggested Meet Warm-Up Procedures” located at the front of the NFHS Swimming and Diving Rules Book, prior to hosting a meet. Supervision, safety suggestions, proper management of pace/sprint lanes, lane selection and other pertinent issues are highlighted to aid in organizing warmups to allow them to occur in a safe, healthy and sportsmanlike manner.    

4. Valid Times With A Single Manual Watch - The referee is the head official and is responsible for making decisions on matters not specifically covered by the rules, and can order that a race be re-swum when there is obvious unfairness, such as a lane line malfunction or a power outage. In the case of a timing malfunction, the referee is expected to utilize other information or data such as his/her order of finish, times on other lanes, etc., to verify the single data point (watch/button) is accurate.  Referees have the authority to reject times that are clearly inaccurate and to determine placing without assigning a specific time to a swimmer.  A swimmer shall not be required to re-swim a completed race because of timing system failure. 

5. Responsibility of the Swimmer in Distance Events - When counter malfunctions occur (i.e., the lap counting device is inadvertently dropped into the water or an incorrect count is shown), it is the responsibility of the swimmer to know his/her lap count and continue the race. Accidental error by the counter shall not result in disqualification of the swimmer.

6. Position Statement on Official’s Role - The rules for NFHS swimming and diving exist to ensure fair competition in a positive, safe and healthy environment.  Athlete performances in swimming and diving inevitably involve both physical and emotional components.  When enthusiastic responses accompany/follow an athlete's performance in competition, officials should be careful to avoid intervention unless absolutely necessary.  If a celebratory response violates Rules 3-6-1&2 and is considered unsporting or unacceptable, it should be sanctioned accordingly.  Responses that are vulgar, profane or demeaning should be treated under the rules prohibiting such conduct; otherwise, officials should refrain from intervention.